HC Deb 24 March 1942 vol 378 cc1806-7
50. Mr. Stokes

asked the Lord President of the Council what payment has been made to Mr. Maby in connection with his dowsing experiments?

The Secretary of State for Air (Sir Archibald Sinclair)

I have been asked to reply. Payments amounting to approximately £58 have been made to Mr. Maby and his associate for expenses incurred in the preliminary demonstrations of the apparatus in question.

Mr. Stokes

Do those payments include payment made by all Departments or only by the right hon. Gentleman's Department?

Sir A. Sinclair

They include payments by all Departments.

Mr. Stokes

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this question has been transferred to all three Departments in turn, and does it not show a complete lack of co-ordination that these Departments should be wasting their time in this way?

Sir A. Sinclair

There has really been no lack of co-ordination. The Admiralty in the first place supervised the demonstration. They then asked us to carry on with the supervision, and the Ministry of Aircraft Production, when that was formed, took over the responsibility.

Brigadier-General Sir Ernest Makins

Was any advice taken of some recognised scientific authority before going in for this process of divination?

Sir A. Sinclair

It is not really a dowsing experiment, but the inventor claimed to have ascertained the scientific principles which lay behind dowsing and to be able to apply those principles to other useful purposes.

Colonel Arthur Evans

Will the right hon. Gentleman also consider employing astrologers?